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Open AccessArticle

Health and Quality of Life Perception in Older Adults: The Joint Role of Cognitive Efficiency and Functional Mobility

1
Institute for Sport and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
2
Human and Health Sciences, Department of Movement, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Roma 00135, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Lori E. James and Meredith Shafto
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11328-11344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911328
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 2 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Cognition)
Cognitive and mobility functions are involved in health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The present cross-sectional study aimed at investigating what facets of efficient cognition and functional mobility interactively contribute to mental and physical HRQoL. Fifty-six healthy older individuals (aged 65–75 years) were evaluated for mental and physical HRQoL, core cognitive executive functions (inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility), and functional mobility (walking) under single and dual task conditions. Multiple regression analyses were run to verify which core executive functions predicted mental and physical HRQoL and whether the ability to perform complex (dual) walking tasks moderated such association. Inhibitory efficiency and the ability to perform physical-mental dual tasks interactively predicted mental HRQoL, whereas cognitive flexibility and the ability to perform physical dual tasks interactively predicted physical HRQoL. Different core executive functions seem relevant for mental and physical HRQoL. Executive function efficiency seems to translate into HRQoL perception when coupled with tangible experience of the ability to walk under dual task conditions that mirror everyday life demands. Implications of these results for supporting the perception of mental and physical quality of life at advanced age are discussed, suggesting the usefulness of multicomponent interventions and environments conducive to walking that jointly aid successful cognitive aging and functional mobility. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; cognition; executive function; walking; dual tasking aging; cognition; executive function; walking; dual tasking
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Forte, R.; Boreham, C.A.; De Vito, G.; Pesce, C. Health and Quality of Life Perception in Older Adults: The Joint Role of Cognitive Efficiency and Functional Mobility. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 11328-11344.

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